WYDOT officials grateful for work federal lawmakers did to protect highway funding

by | Updated Nov 22, 2019 at 4:23PM

Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) officials are pleased with the work U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and other federal lawmakers did to protect highway funding.

Congress repealed the $7.6 billion rescission of federal-aid highway contract authority this week that would have impacted states like Wyoming. Under the rescission, WYDOT would have had an $87.7 million negative impact on the department’s flexibility to fund specific projects.

The repeal would have affected WYDOT, impacting Wyoming’s mobility, economic competitiveness and quality of life of state citizens. Sen. Barrasso, who is the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairman, was instrumental in achieving this repeal.

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“This legislative action will help us provide stability in highway project programming and delivery,” said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner. “We thank Chairman Barrasso for his efforts and his leadership in securing both the continuing resolution and this rescission repeal.”

The rescission was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2020. The rescission was established in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The $7.6 billion rescission repeal was passed as part of the stopgap continuing resolution to keep federal agencies open through Dec. 20.

WYDOT’s Chief Financial Officer Dennis Byrne said the loss of contract authority from the rescission had the potential to delay certain projects and affect the mix of projects in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Repeal of the rescission simplifies WYDOT’s ability to administer its funding and deliver valuable projects quickly.  

The legislation now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

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